(NaturalNews) James Turner, chairman of Citizens for Health, an international non-profit consumer health education group, declares in a press release that he is shocked and outraged after reading a report of the findings of a Duke University study that link the use of the artificial sweetener known as Splenda to weight gain and other health problems. "The report makes it clear that the artificial sweetener Splenda and its key component sucralose pose a threat to the people who consume the product. Hundreds of consumers have complained to us about side effects from using Splenda and this study … confirms that the chemicals in the little yellow package should carry a big red warning label," Turner warns.
Could Using Splenda Make You Fat?
The study, which was published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A, provides "evidence that, in the animals studied, Splenda reduces the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by 50%, increases the pH level in the intestines, contributes to increases in body weight and affects the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in the body in such a way that crucial health-related drugs could be rejected," according to the press release. Instead of being absorbed as intended, Turner notes that medicines such as those used for chemotherapy, AIDs treatment or heart conditions could go right to the intestines instead. While the study was conducted using male rats, researchers were able to evaluate the results to determine possible side effects in humans. Turner notes that a rat study was also used by the manufacturers of Splenda to get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to market the product to humans.
Use Over Time Could Cause Side Effects
"A person eating two slices of cake and drinking two cups of coffee containing Splenda would ingest enough sucralose to affect the P-glycoprotein, while consuming just seven little Splenda packages reduces good bacteria," Turner explains. While there is no cause for concern for one-time use, Citizens for Health reports that side effects can occur after use over a period of time. Turner also mentions that Johnson & Johnson reports that Splenda is not absorbed by fat and that there is now "unmistakable evidence" to the contrary.
Consumer Group Wants Warning Label on Splenda
The California Assembly Committee on Health will hear testimony from Citizens for Health on October 3, 2008. The committee is looking into the use of deceptive advertising in order to encourage the sale of unhealthy food products (like artificial sweeteners), according the press release. "We are calling today on the FDA to immediately accept our petition filed over a year ago and initiate a review of its approval of sucralose and to require a warning label on Splenda packaging cautioning that people who take medications and/or have gastrointestinal problems avoid using Splenda. … The FDA should not continue to turn a blind eye to this health threat," said Turner.
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